Foreword: Right! So when you have a good game, you’re bound to have a bad one. That’s exactly what happened here with this game, and holy shit was it crappy.
It’s actually a real shame, though, since the game itself had the right idea about what a “good romance galge” would be along with a pretty solid theme. The bullshit comes because the writers were so focused on making the reader laugh that the story itself turned out really really crappy. (In a sense, I kinda see this game as parody of “galge” to a certain extent…)
It’s actually really hard to get scores like 8 or 9 from me, but it’s also pretty hard to get the opposite: scores like 1 or 2. Well, let’s all applaud this game for achieving just that!
As with PxC, I leave this game with a pictureless, tagless review. Because it’s not worth my time, nor should it be for you.
Title: 恋愛まで選択肢ひとつ (Renai made sentakushi hitotsu) [Lit. Trans: One Choice until Romance]
Producers: Nounai Kanojo (I laughed when I realized this meant “Girlfriend inside the brain”)
Release Date: March 28, 2014
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v13892
Summary: Riku is pretty normal when it comes to romance… Actually, he’s not.
Riku is a high school student who works at a family restaurant to earn money for him and his sister to get by with their parents in Thailand. As it turns out, however, Riku actually has a girlfriend! Despite this, the twist is that their relationship was since Kindergarten, and his girlfriend, named Misora, unfortunately died in a traffic accident.
Ever since that incident, all his interaction was with his group of friends, which includes Suzuho (Misora’s younger sister), Kirio (the “leader” of their group), as well as with his younger sister Karen, and his co-worker in the restaurant named Yukari.
All of Riku’s interaction with women were heavily guarded too: he only had Misora in mind and no one else could take her place… Or so he thought.
One day, when working in the restaurant as usual, a robber breaks in and holds a girl as hostage. To the astonishment of the group and Riku, the girl looks exactly like the deceased Misora! As soon as Riku recovers from his astonishment, he finds himself flying towards the armed robber, asking the girl for marriage.
And thus starts the story of Riku and this mysterious girl named Miyako.
Story Length: Moderate (~15 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Very Easy
Comments: So exactly how this game translates into “One Choice until Romance” or roughly “one selection until romance starts”, there’s only one selection within the entire game. In addition, this “sentakushi” (selection) element becomes a parody in itself when characters talk about how “a selection should appear somewhere around here”, and such.
Character Design Rating: 3/10
Story Rating: 1/10
Game Quality: Low
Protagonist Rating: 0/10
Overall Rating: 1/10
Rating Comments: Holy shit this game sucks. The story rating gets a +1 for the jokes continuously used in the story, and even the character rating gets barely salvaged by “charage”-like features. Again, it’s really hard to receive scores like this; it’s probably only possible if the company actually TRIED to produce shit.
Protagonist rating is an absolute 0 because there’s absolutely nothing good about him. Sure, he has his siscon moments that can make the reader laugh, but other than that, the story never shows what’s so good about him, he always finds poor excuses for things, and he’s pretty much an emo kid moping about how his “first love” died and unable to move on until Miyako comes around. In addition to the fact that he’s always pushed around by the heroines, there’s nothing protagonist-like about him: Heck, it’s an insult to the word “protagonist” if you labeled this character with it.
Sexual Content: Moderately High
Comments: So the real pity from this game is that it actually starts out fairly strong. It’s not holy-fuck-this-stuff-is-awesome material, but come on! We have a protagonist who is suffering from a deceased girlfriend. THAT doesn’t happen often in galge, right? Riku also justifies his fears of getting close with a girl (although he ends up making the excuse that he “loves” Misora), but it never really explains how the two fell in love… They haven’t even reached puberty at Kindergarten!
(At this point, the story implies that the protagonist was just holding onto something that wasn’t truly romance)
Riku’s real flaw comes with his actions after Misora’s death: According to the summary, he would seem like a gloomy or at least a more serious character because of this event, right?
In fact, he displays a large amount of siscon features, in addition to sexually harassing his coworker just so he can “make sure we never fall in love” (YET THEY DO ANYWAYS IN THEIR ROUTE WHAT THE FUCK), and oh man this character’s a mess.
Speaking of which, even the heroines are a mess too, in the sense they’re all crazy for this seemingly-normal protagonist, and the story never explains why.
Affection for the Characters: Very low
CG Score: 1/10. “Faceless Protagonist” as well as weird body proportions and lack of colors with a side-dish of creepy SDCGs and a wide selection of H-scenes makes the game receive one of the lowest scores possible.
Music Score: 3/10. Very few soundtracks along with the fact that the game uses the “heartbeat” SFX WAAAAAAAAYYYY too much. I already listen to heartbeats while working in the hospital, give me a fucking break!
Conclusion: Yep, nothing else can be said except it really had the potential and the right theme, but as soon as that “selection” comes in, the story droops into ichaicha, random sex scenes, and an anticlimactic conclusion.
One Selection until Romance? HA! More like “One Selection then a Shitty Game”.
Time to trash this game and move onto the next.
(In all seriousness, this game can be classified as a “charage”, except it even failed to do as such)